Sat. Aug 13th, 2022

New York Jets big on veteran Kwon Alexander after first practice: ‘He’s got an edge to him’

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Kwon Alexander signed with the New York Jets on Friday, but it took just one practice with the team for the Pro Bowler to leave a lasting impression on the field. 

Defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich had nothing but praise for the veteran linebacker during the Jets’ first day of padded practice, telling the media simply, “He’s awesome.”

Linebackers Kwon Alexander, #9, and DQ Thomas, #53 of the New York Jets, workout during training camp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center on August 1, 2022 in Florham Park, New Jersey.

Linebackers Kwon Alexander, #9, and DQ Thomas, #53 of the New York Jets, workout during training camp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center on August 1, 2022 in Florham Park, New Jersey.
(Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

“He’s got this infectious energy about himself, he’s got an edge to him. He’s got the ability to elevate people around him,” Ulbrich continued. “So to get that type of person in the building is awesome. It will make us better in practice. It will make us better in meetings. It’ll make us ultimately better on Sundays.”

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The Jets signed Alexander to a one-year deal on Friday, addressing New York’s thinnest position with some much-needed veteran experience. He is reunited with head coach Robert Saleh, who coached Alexander for two years in San Francisco, where Saleh served as defensive coordinator. 

“The more guys that you have like that, the better,” Ulbrich added, before making an interesting analogy. “I always say, like, Coke is really good, you know? But Coke with a little something in it is even better, right? You know what I’m saying?”

Linebacker Kwon Alexander, #9, speaks after training camp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center on August 1, 2022 in Florham Park, New Jersey. 

Linebacker Kwon Alexander, #9, speaks after training camp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center on August 1, 2022 in Florham Park, New Jersey. 
(Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

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Alexander, who turns 28 Wednesday, was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL Draft. He played four seasons with the Bucs, leading the league in tackles in 2016 before signing with the Niners in 2019. 

He was then traded to the New Orleans Saints during his second season.

Tony Pollard, #20 of the Dallas Cowboys, is tackled by Kwon Alexander, #5 of the New Orleans Saints, in the second quarter of the game at Caesars Superdome on December 02, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana. 

Tony Pollard, #20 of the Dallas Cowboys, is tackled by Kwon Alexander, #5 of the New Orleans Saints, in the second quarter of the game at Caesars Superdome on December 02, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana. 
(Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

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Alexander said during a press conference with reporters on Monday that he was in talks with the Saints and the New York Giants before ultimately deciding on the Jets. 

“I was familiar with the defense – love coach Saleh, love the team, love the guys they brought in,” he said of his decision. “I love the energy they had, they have some dogs on the team. I wanted to come be a part of it.”



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